Head teacher's blog
Please keep an eye on the blog page and read the entries below to learn about what has been happening in school.
5th July 2019
This week we have some really exciting news to share with you;
Mrs Stratton is expecting a baby girl! She is due to arrive mid November.
Thank you to all the families who brought in bottles and candy bags for the PTA. The Northaw Festival is only just over a week away; we are hoping for lots of sunshine and lots of fun. If you are able to offer any help, please call into the office or speak to your class representatives.
Open evening is next Wednesday, 10th July. Please arrive at the front entrance and sign in on your children’s class form. Governors and children will start the evening at 6.00pm with a short presentation and each class will present their art work based on the 6Rs. You will then be free to look at your children’s work. Trudy and I will be selling books, bits and bobs to raise money for Save the Children; we are hoping this will help us reach our £1000 target. Because of the family festival on Saturday there won’t be any refreshments at Open Evening this time.
From September we will be running Breakfast Club with new and exciting activities every day. We ask you to book in advance and to secure your children’s places by paying on the Gateway. Information about Breakfast Club prices will be emailed to you shortly.
We will also be engaging our children in lunchtime sports provision and working towards the School Sports Bronze Award. You will not be charged for the lunchtime provision. This will be available to all.
28th June 2019
What a fantastic Sports Day! It was a fitting finale to our fantastic Active Week. The children enjoyed lots of new and exciting sports and games funded through our Sports Premium Funding.
Thank you to the PTA representatives who supplied and served us with the Fruity Friday refreshments. We are now looking forward to the Family Festival on 13th July. Let’s hope that the weather is just as beautiful.
This Wednesday is a non-uniform day; please be reminded that parents and carers are asked to fill up the candy bags with toys and sweets and also bring in a bottle for the tombola.
On Wednesday afternoon at 3.00pm, I will be offering parents and carers the chance of seeing the video of my jump! It is only a few minutes long and if you haven’t already donated and would like to, please send via my ‘Justgiving’ page or bring a donation in on Wednesday. The page will remain open during the summer, just in case you have friends and family who would like to contribute to this very worthy cause.
21st June 2019
Over the past couple of months we have been communicating our difficulties with maintaining a healthy budget for the forthcoming years. With this in mind I am pleased to inform you that one of our governors, Mr Dan Ruge-Cope and his wife Chris, have donated £10,000. This overwhelming act of generosity should not go unnoticed. Please take time to express your gratitude with a simple message of thanks as Dan greets you and your children in church on Monday. The school will use the money to update the school server and associated IT equipment, which will benefit all of your children now and in years to come. During Clean Air Day yesterday Mr Napoleon delivered an assembly based on the effects of pollution on our world and how we can help to save the planet by continuing to walk to school.
We harvested our potatoes on Thursday and winners were announced in worship today.
Next week is ACTIVE WEEK. This year we will introduce the children to yet more skills and activities such as snowboarding, archery and circus skills. The week will end with Sports day on Friday. The black gate will be opened from 1.05pm and the activities and races will start from 1.30pm. I do hope that you can come along to cheer your children and I do hope that the weather is kind to us. Following Active Week, I take my leap for Cancer Research UK; please pray for good weather. If you haven’t yet donated and would like to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Shirley-Whales.
14th June 2019
What a wonderful Father’s Day celebration! Thank you to all the dads and grandads who signed up for and enjoyed a delicious dinner. We hope that you all enjoy another special day on Sunday.
Our Year 6 children enjoyed their Crucial Crew training this week. A governor who went on the visit reported, ‘Crucial Crew is targeted at Year 6 children, helping them keep safe, learning about personal and general safety in an engaging, interactive and thought-provoking way.’ Our children behaved well and learned loads!
Next year, swimming for Oak and Willow class will be during the autumn term and for Acorns and Apples and Pears in the summer term. We have handed over our spring term slot to the children at Ponsbourne St Mary’s School.
With fewer staff in school, the workload has become heavier on all of us so next year, from September, we will be looking for some of you to help us out. We will be hoping for help at swimming on a Monday afternoon, for help in class and more PTA fundraising support. Swimming support could be organised on a rota basis if enough people volunteer.
If you are interested in any of the above, please pop in to see me.
7th June 2019
Thank you to those of you who are continuing with our Walk to School campaign; it is so much safer when parents choose to park away from the school.
We are thrilled with our netball team who won their match yesterday against Ponsbourne; a staggering 14-0 score shows how much they are learning. As some of the team will be moving on to secondary school next year, we will need to replace them. Please encourage your children to get involved.
Next Friday is Daddy’s Dinner Day. We aim to ensure that families are kept together to share this special time, so if your children are in different key stages we will endeavour to organise a joint family lunch! Daddies, granddaddies and step-daddies are all welcome! Please sign up by completing and returning the form that has been sent out today. We do require payment in advance so that Ginnie can order the correct amount of food.
24th May 2019
This has been a very exciting week! You may have noticed our Mini Police outside this week. They will be working with us to discourage our parents and carers parking opposite the yellow zig zag lines. So don’t get caught by them, park sensibly away from the school so that cars can pass by safely and children can use the pavements without fear of being run over!
Thank you to the Eastwood family who generously donated a range of amazing resources for our Acorns class. We are so grateful! Thank you to Mrs Birchell who spent a whole afternoon jet washing the Acorns’ outdoor space; it looks fabulous. Thank you also to Mrs Kilgour, Mrs Rawlings and Ms Winborn who cleared and cleaned, washed and weeded on Thursday afternoon to make our school look smarter than ever. Thank you to Mr Waterson and Mr White who have cleared the gardens and created bug habitats! What a fantastic group of people!
You may remember that Ginnie and I were invited to a gala dinner to celebrate the winners of the Herts Catering Awards. Well, following an amazing dinner at Ashridge last Friday the awards were presented to Hertfordshire’s best and Ginnie won!!!! Well done Ginnie we are so proud of you. Thank you to all the people who wrote complimentary pieces for the nomination.
Finally, thank you to the families who have already contributed to my ‘justgiving’ page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Shirley-whales . We have already reached an amazing £800! If you feel able, please speak with your friends and families over half term and ask them to support this very worthy charity.
We have a full and exciting half term ahead of us: active week (24-28June), performances and projects, visits and visitors, PTA car boot and family festival and open evening (10 July) to name a few. We will endeavour to let you know about events in a timely manner but please be patient with us as there are fewer of us doing more roles!
Please enjoy your half term break.
17th May 2019
SATs week is over! Well done to all our Year 6 children who behaved responsibly during the week; they deserve to do well!
Next week, we will be encouraging our children to walk to school. If you travel a long distance, please park in either the Two Brewers or the village hall car park. The class with the most walkers will get extra playtime on Friday!
Following the nasty accident outside school earlier this week, I would like to extend my thanks to all the parents and carers who acted so responsibly. I was pleased with the competence of our emergency services, which coordinated a swift and effective response. We are not clear about the exact reasons for the accident but it has highlighted the need for drivers to take care and drive slowly. Please support the introduction of traffic calming strategies on Vineyards Road by writing to Cuffley and Northaw Parish Council and Hertfordshire Highways.
Just a little reminder...the school gate is open from 8.35am until 8.50pm. Please allow enough time to avoid any potential delays and to park safely away from the school gates so that your children arrive at school on time.
10th May 2019
Thank you to everyone who entered into the spirit of our plastic free day. It emphasised to us how much we have all come to rely on plastic. During the day the children learned about their responsibility to make the world a better place.
Children from Oak class represented our school in a Quicksticks hockey tournament. The standard was very high, but we still enjoyed ourselves. After a fun-filled and energetic afternoon, we found ourselves in the semi-final and we eventually finished third.
It is lovely to see some families gearing themselves up for ‘Walk to School’ week. This not only benefits the health and wellbeing of our families but also relieves the congestion on the roads. Keep up the good work!
Thank you to anyone who has already sponsored me for my ‘skydive’ at the end of June. I appreciate your support! If you find the ‘Justgiving’ page- you can always drop a donation in to school marked ‘JUMP’!
We are in the process of identifying a charity to support during the next academic year. If you have any suggestions/worthwhile causes, we would love to hear about them. So far this year we have raised £926.58 for Save the Children (Easter Quiz- £40 and Book Sale -£42). We are hoping to top this up to over £1000 at the Car Boot Sale on 15th June.
Finally, Year 6 SATs week is next week! Please make sure that your children get plenty of fresh air and rest over the weekend. All we ask is that the children ‘be the best that they can be’. They are a fabulous class of children who are well-mannered, thoughtful and talented in so many ways. Whatever the outcome, we should celebrate these other God given gifts that make them into the young people that we love.
3rd May 2019
The weeks seem to get busier and busier; teachers and assistant teachers have been out on courses to learn about new ways of working, how best to cater for our most vulnerable children and exciting curriculum development ideas. In the meantime, we continue to try to explore different teaching methods in school.
At the beginning of the week we moderated our RE and foundation subjects with colleagues from Ponsbourne St Mary’s and Bayford; as a small school, it is always good to share ideas with other like-minded people. I am pleased with the quality of work that was shared and discussed.
On Wednesday Mr Bhura and Ms Littlefield from Mount Grace School came to say “hello” to the Year 6 children who will be transferring there next term. They spent the afternoon chatting and answering questions as part of their transition process.
On Thursday Willow Class went on a trip to the Verulamium Museum in St Albans. They really enjoyed their day which included a Roman Marketplace workshop. Mrs Cullingford said that the museum staff were very complimentary about the children’s behaviour both in the workshop and in the public galleries. They remarked that not all schools were so respectful or paid such close attention! Well done Willow class, we are so proud of you! Let’s hope that Oak class make us proud too when they go on the Faith Tour.
We had a visit from the local authority attendance officer, who came to discuss attendance and punctuality. There has been a slight overall improvement but there’s always room for more so please continue to get children in to school and on time!
Next Wednesday is “Plastic Free Day”. We hope children will embrace this by not bringing any plastic in to school. There are obvious exceptions such as pens, calculators and medical equipment, but it would be great to see home packed lunches in paper bags, metal water bottles, books and kits in paper carrier bags? Please try to discuss this with your children and see if there are other creative ways to stop using plastic.
Finally I would like to remind you that week commencing 20th May is “Walk to School Week”. This was very successful last year with a noticeable reduction in cars and congestion at both drop off and pick times. I would like to encourage you to start practising – it is so much healthier to walk and you’ll probably spend a little more quality time noticing nature en route.
Enjoy the Bank Holiday on Monday, see you back in school on Tuesday.
26th April 2019
Welcome back! We hope that you enjoyed a sunny Easter break. It has been lovely to hear about the exciting things that the children have enjoyed doing during their holidays.
Well done to Lucie for winning the competition set by Great Thameslink Railways. She was rewarded with an armful of chocolate eggs! The winning entry can be seen displayed at Hertford Station.
In another competition run by Great Northern Railway, which we entered during World Book Day, the school won £150. We plan to spend this money on books for our library.
Our children in Apples and Pears enjoyed a fabulous school visit to Paradise Wildlife Park to start their topic on dinosaurs-always a favourite! Miss Barker commented on how well the children had behaved and how proud she was of all their knowledge and attention. Well done Apples and Pears.
Whilst we have been enjoying some lovely summer weather, please continue to send your children into school with a coat. The top playground is very exposed and the cold air whips up from the valley below!
Finally, this week, a plea! If you are sending children to school with a home packed lunch, please ensure that it is packed full of healthy goodies, not chocolate or sweets and of course no nut or sesame products. If your child needs a snack at playtime, we always have fruit and vegetables for the younger children and ‘tasty tuck’ available in school. If you would like to provide your own snacks, would you please ensure that they are healthy such as fruit or vegetables not crisps or chocolate. Thank you.
5th April 2019
Well done to our beautiful Northaw choir who made us so very proud on Wednesday evening. Thank you to Trudy, Mrs Stratton-Stubbs and our lovely governors for helping out at rehearsals. Thank to Mrs Cullingford who helped out on the evening and thank you to Mrs Page who taught the music.
This week we said a fond farewell to Miss Gibson, Miss Calder and Mrs Brennan. We expressed our gratitude with cards, flowers and gifts and we wish them much happiness in their new roles.
Thank you to Ginnie who served up a fantastic Easter lunch. It was yummy!
Thank you to the PTA, who supplied us with enough Creme eggs and Jelly Chicks so that every child could join in our Easter Egg Hunt.
Please enjoy a restful and hopefully sunny Easter break. We look forward to seeing you all again in school on Tuesday 23rd April.
29th March 2019
This has been a week of good news and bad news!
Firstly, I have the bad news. I am sorry to have to inform you that three members of staff will be leaving at the end of this term: Mrs Brennan, Miss Gibson and Mrs Caulder. This is incredibly disappointing for us as all three members of staff have been valuable members of our team. The reason for this ‘trimming’ of our team is purely financial; the school can no longer afford the number of staff that we would like. Whilst these ladies are as disappointed as we are, they have understood our constraints and have been very supportive of our decisions.
And our good news: I am delighted to tell you that we submitted a nomination for Ginnie to be considered for Cook Manager of the Year (Primary School)-Region B and as a result Ginnie has been shortlisted! Ginnie and I will attend a Gala Awards Evening in May, where the overall winners will be announced. Thank you to everyone who supported our nomination.
Sadly, we have only received four messages of ‘giving back’. Well done to the children who have supported our Lenten challenge.
We look forward to seeing you at our parents’ evenings next week. If you have a later appointment, please would you make every effort to look at your children’s books before you see the class teacher. This will avoid me locking you in at the end of the evening!
22nd March 2019
You may have heard about the fantastic drama session experienced by children in Acorns and Apples and Pears on Thursday! The children seemed to be buzzing all day. If you haven’t heard ask them about it!
On Tuesday, we enjoyed an interesting assembly delivered by Ellie, a representative from Age UK. The theme focussed on what we can ‘give back’ to our elderly friends and neighbours. It was lovely to be able to read out Jaya’s and Indie’s giving back experience! We are waiting for many more responses over the next couple of weeks. Please make every effort to encourage your child to ‘give back’ and let us know their achievement either by email or snail mail!
Well done to our footballers. Whilst they didn’t win, most of the team played well and behaved well. Our netball team is due to play a match next Thursday; you are welcome to come along to support them.
We are looking forward to a good Mother’s Day celebration next Friday, so we hope that you support this special occasion by baking lots of cakes. Please ensure that your fabulous bakes do not contain nuts or sesame.
We are hoping to raise some more money for Save the Children during our parents’ evenings at the end of term. We will have a special Easter quiz for you to buy for £1. Entries can be handed in to us by Monday 29th April. Details will be available on the evenings. We will also be selling some more books on both evenings so remember to bring along some spare change.
15th March 2019
Well done to our Junior Travel Ambassadors who continue to support safe walking to school. We have been given the go ahead to train an adult for ‘lollipop’ duties, which would make crossing the road from the village hall safer. This is a voluntary position; please let us know if you would like to volunteer!
A couple of early requests - On Friday 29th March the PTA will be hosting a Mother’s Day Tea in the hall after school. Donations of cakes will be most welcome – please remember cakes must not contain nuts or sesame seeds.
On Friday 26th April the PTA will be holding a Quiz Night for which they require Raffle Prizes. If you have anything to donate please bring it to the school office.
Finally, thank you to everyone who has contributed to this year’s Comic Relief charity by purchasing red noses.
8th March 2019
It seems that World Book Day at Northaw School was great fun. Unfortunately, I was unable to join in due to training commitments, but I am told the children’s costumes were amazing. All the staff came to school in their pajamas armed with their favourite childrens bedtime story to share with the children. Working in their house groups, the children rotated through various book based creative activities. The money raised on this mufti day will go to "Save the Children", our chosen charity this year. If you forgot to send in the £1 donation, it’s not too late – just drop it into the office where there is a collection box.
We have a representative coming from Save the Children next week to deliver an assembly. She will be talking about global injustice and telling us how our fund raising is helping children everywhere.
We will also be selling Red Noses in school next week so please send your child in with £1.25 if they wish to purchase one during break time.
1st March 2019
Happy St David’s Day!
This week we launched our focus on the Christian value of ‘justice’. We have encouraged the children to reflect on what is important to them; to learn about the courage of people who have stood up against injustice; to think about how even small actions can make a difference. Thank you specifically to our ‘tidy team’-Will and Chloe, who have picked up all the litter around our school-well done!
Next week we look forward to Pancake Day!
‘The arrival of Lent is heralded by pancakes. Shrove Tuesday is traditionally a day of preparation before the season of Lent begins. The 40 days of Lent represent the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness at the start of his ministry, after being baptised by John (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus fasted during his time in the wilderness, and so some Christians identify with his suffering by abstaining from particular foods during this time, including meat, fish, milk and egg products. The recipe for pancakes is great for using up milk and eggs before giving up these things.’
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, a day of penitence or cleansing of the soul. Many Christians will attend Lent services, and be marked with a cross of ashes on their forehead. Traditionally, the ashes come from burning the previous year’s palm crosses. The ash cross is a sign of mortality, based upon the idea from the book of Genesis that humankind came into the world from dust and will return to it. It is a time to express sorrow over sin, and a reminder that Jesus brings freedom from sin.
And World Book Day...
Details of this have been sent to you before half term. We are looking forward to a fun- filled day and a festive lunch. Please send your children dressed in their fancy dress outfits.
This week, we said farewell to Mrs Gillard, who has retired after 19 years as a midday- supervisor here at Northaw. She has many new and exciting adventures planned for her retirement and we wish her lots of happiness for the future.
15th February 2019
Well done to Willow class who thoroughly enjoyed their school visit to Celtic Harmony on Tuesday. They experienced life in pre-history, making clay pots, baking bread and carving arrow heads out of soap! Thank you to all parents and carers who organised travel to and from the venue.
Our Reflection Rangers organised and delivered worship this week. They were comparing the stories of Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers to the Bible story of The Lost Sheep. They focused on our Christian value of perseverance and the messages that can be found in both stories. I was really impressed with their knowledge and emotional literacy.
We have noticed that some children have been arriving late to school. The school gate opens at 8.35am and closes at 8.45am. Our attendance officer is due to visit us next half-term; she will be paying special attention to families who are regularly late for school.
Finally, we hope that you enjoy a restful half term. Please eat well, sleep and relax ready to start the new half term...on time!
Don’t forget we have a Clothes Recycling Bank just outside the school gate. We receive commission from UK Textile Recycling for deposits of clothing and shoes (paired up and bagged). The money we receive helps towards providing prizes for school run competitions and special awards. It is better if you use carrier bags for deposits as large bin liners sometimes get stuck!
8th February 2019
We received two congratulatory letters this week. The first was from our Local Authority who congratulated us on our Ofsted achievement, ‘It is pleasing to see a school maintain a judgement of good under the current Ofsted inspection framework.’ The second was from Rt. Hon Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education and Rt. Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Standards, who congratulated us on our Key Stage 2 reading score of 100% children reaching or exceeding the expected standards in reading. This puts our school in the top 1% of primary schools in England! Well done Northaw team! Thank you to our digital leaders who delivered a fantastic presentation to parents and governors at our Staying Safe event this week. Feedback about the presentations was very positive; parents were grateful for the information and the opportunity to discuss ideas with other parents. The slides and pupils’ presentation will be put on the website. Please take a look so that you can keep ahead of your children! Our Staying Safe week successfully covered many areas of the PSHE curriculum as well as information about online safety. Please talk to your children about how they are learning to manage their worries and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Miss Calder, our SENco works here at Northaw on Tuesdays. If you need to contact her, please call her when she is here and not at Ponsbourne, where she works for the rest of the week.
1st February 2019
Well today has been an exciting day! The children who attended school today enjoyed a fabulous time making snowpersons. We had some very tall ones, a plethora of creative ones and even a unicorn/dragon sit on model!
We are sorry if the snow was an inconvenience but we will always endeavour to stay open in order to give children an education, whatever form that may take.
Next week is our Staying Safe week. Children will learn more about online safety, how to keep themselves safe and who they can talk to if they are worried.
Most of you will be aware that our Christian value for this half term is perseverance. This is something that many children find difficult. Very little that is really worthwhile in life can be achieved without perseverance.
25th January 2019
It seems like winter has started at last! Please be aware that the pathways may be slippery, and the roads may be icy, but we will endeavour to stay open whatever the weather. However, if snow falls and we are in school, please send your children in with a spare pair of joggers and a pair of wellies!
Our Christian value for this half term is perseverance. The children have been nominating friends who have demonstrated this value. Learning is about resilience; we hope that you can support your children at home by giving them opportunities to persevere.
I will persevere in explaining the importance of organising your lives so that your children arrive to school on time. I understand that some delays are unavoidable (as many parents experienced a couple of weeks ago). But for some regular latecomers, I have a request! Please would you leave home a little earlier. Punctuality is important as children should not miss out on their vital ‘Early Work’. They should be able to enter the classroom calmly and ready to start the day.
Finally, our digital leaders will be presenting their important messages about staying safe online during our staying safe event on Tuesday 5th February. Please come along to support them and hear about the new social media apps and their health warnings. It’s always good for parents to be up to date with advancements in this field, to keep ahead of the children and to be aware of any potential hazards. The sign-up sheet is available in the school office-book your place now!
18th January 2019
It has been a really pleasant start to the term. The children are working hard and behaving well. We are pleased with the way that they have embraced our Christian value of perseverance. Some children have written some fabulous prayers and some children have applauded the resilience that they have witnessed in their friendships.
This week governors looked at our new school vision: Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith. We will be sharing this with the children in the coming months, looking at the 6Rs that underpin the vision and coming to an understanding of what this means for us. We are hoping that some creative work may come from this learning. Any ideas from families would be welcomed! I am pleased to inform you that the signing up sheet for our ‘Staying Safe’ evening will be available next week. Do let us know if you are planning to come along. It should be an informative evening.
Finally, some lovely news! Before Christmas we entered the Hertfordshire Primary School of the Year awards for contributions to PE. I am pleased to say that we were one of the eight finalists! We did not win but this is a fantastic achievement as there are 488 schools in Hertfordshire!
11th January 2019
Welcome back. We hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and New Year break.
Thank you to everyone who took note of our tweet about the road closure at the beginning of the week. It was fabulous to see such a clear road! We were told that the disruption could take up to 23 days! It lasted 24 hours! As it was such a relief on our first day back, I respectfully request that you can leave home in time to park in the Two Brewers, at Judges or the village hall so that it relieves the congestion and danger in the road.
Our Christian value for this half term is perseverance, which fits in nicely with our 6Rs and particularly the R for Resilience. We have asked the children to contribute prayers relating to this very important value; it would be great if parents and carers could send in contributions too.
Just to let you know...the children’s reports will be given out on Friday 15th February and our parents’ evenings will be on Tuesday 2nd April, 3.30-6.30pm and Thursday 4th April, 4.30-7.30pm. A signing up list will be available nearer the time.
Please also diary our Staying Safe evening for parents and carers on Tuesday 5th February at 7.00pm. Learn all about the latest online pitfalls and how to keep your children safe online. Kathy Lammas will also be updating you on how to deal with children’s mental health and wellbeing. It should be an interesting evening.
Finally, a little reminder...please ensure that your children wear black school shoes as per our uniform policy and not trainers. We would like our children to continue being Northaw smart!
20th December 2018
Firstly, I wish to say ‘thank you’ to so many of you who completed the online ‘Parent View’ questionnaire and to all the parents who sent in supportive emails. The staff and I appreciate the confidence that you have in us. Whatever the Ofsted outcome, I would like you to know that we will always have the best interest of your children at the forefront of our work both academically and personally. This is a fabulous community and we will continue to celebrate that!
Well done and thank you to everyone who celebrated the end of term with us in church this morning.
Thank you also for your many gifts and festive wishes. We appreciate your kindness.
We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
14th December 2018
Well done to our PTA who ran a very successful ‘festive fun’ event last night. Thank you to everyone who helped to set up and clean up after the event. The children had a really good time!
We are looking forward to a marvellous Christmas performance this evening. After a fabulous dress rehearsal this morning, we are hoping that the children perform well for you tonight. Donations tonight will be for our school charity for the year, ‘Save the Children Fund.’
Well done to our choir who sang at Waltham Cross Pavilion and Cuffley Manor. Thank you to all the adults who sang along with them and a HUGE thank you to SOUTH MIMMS COACHES who provided the bus to Cuffley Manor, FREE OF CHARGE. The children were so well looked after at Cuffley Manor; our thanks go to everyone who made the visit so memorable.
We have not finished yet! We are looking forward to our Christmas lunch next Tuesday and the pantomime on Wednesday.
On Thursday, our end of term service STARTS at 8.45am. Please arrive at church promptly so that we can start together and on time! Please join us for this special service when we will be celebrating the onset of Christmas as well as giving out end of term certificates. We respectfully request that you come along to enjoy this service and keep your mobile devices tucked away.
7th December 2018
What a fantastic start to our Christmas performances! Acorns class made us all cry with their marvellous singing and performing of The Sleepy Shepherd. Well done to all the children and thank you to all the adults who helped to make the performance such as success.
We are very grateful to Hannah, our piano teacher, who encouraged our musicians to perform to parents and carers. What a talented bunch of children! Today we enjoyed helping to get the St Thomas’ Christmas Tree Festival started. The children lifted our spirits with their wonderful singing and they reminded us of the saints whose lives are commemorated during Christmas and Advent.
This week, our Junior Travel Ambassadors delivered an assembly based on ‘Be bright, be seen’. They talked about the importance of wearing bright coloured jackets and reflective clothing during the dark winter months.
Despite many pleas, we are still finding that parents and carers are ignoring our appeals for sensible parking and driving. Too many are still attempting 3 point turns on this very busy road. Too many are still parking on footpaths, in front of driveways and the yellow lines. In the rush and the bustle of the season, please be mindful of the children and their safety.
We have noticed that many children are choosing to wear trainers to school. Please be reminded that trainers are not black shoes. We expect all of our children to wear the appropriate uniform as mentioned on our website. When we return to school in January, we would like ALL children to wear the correct uniform. (Children are welcome to change into trainers for play times if they wish.)
Next week, Apples and Pears, Willow and Oak children will be practising for their performance. Their performance to you will be at 7.00pm in church on Friday 14th December. Further details will be emailed to you next week.
Finally, following valuable feedback from parents and carers during our open evening last July, governors have created a new motto for our school. All will be revealed in our governor newsletter which will be emailed to you soon. Watch this space!
30th November 2018
Thank you to our PTA representatives for bringing a little sunshine and joy into our wet and windy week. The children enjoyed being happy shoppers on Wednesday and today they have relaxed in their Jeans & Joggers for mufti day, entering into the spirit of Christmas by bringing along some goodies for the Christmas Festive Fun afternoon. (Thursday 13th December @ 3.05pm). So much hard work goes on behind the scenes to make these special occasions perfect for our children. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.
In worship yesterday, the children talked about the plight of refugees and their endeavours to find a safe place for their families to live. We talked about the refugees Abraham and Sarah in the Old Testament and also Mary, Joseph and Jesus’ escape to freedom in the New Testament.
The children have now started to write Christmas prayers based on the Christian values of trust and respect. We would really like to receive some words from parents and carers too. Please contribute your ideas either by email to email@example.com or on a piece of paper.
Please remember the church Christmas Tree Festival is next Friday afternoon starting at 2.30pm. Come along and sing with your children.
23rd November 2018
Thank you for dressing your children in their best uniform on Tuesday; they did look very smart for their photographs!
Now that there is a definite chill in the air please would you make sure that your children have a warm coat to wear at playtimes. Christmas time is fast approaching and we would like children to be fit and well for all the festivities.
We have received information regarding the film that was made of the children dancing last week in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness. It is due to be aired on YouTube and Sky channel 191 on 3rd December at 10pm. Look out for our stars of the future!
Mental health and wellbeing is one of our focus areas on our School Improvement Plan this year and our recently advertised Raising Confident Kids is part of this programme. The providers have kindly offered the evening of Tuesday 4th December at 7.00pm for the delivery of the programme. Please sign in at the school office to confirm your attendance.
Next Wednesday is the PTA Christmas Sale day; please remember that the proceeds do go to a good cause, your children’s school! Next Friday is JEANS and JOGGERS day, a good choice for the cold weather! Donations towards the liquid tombola and the festive hampers will be much appreciated. (more details overleaf)
Finally we welcomed a visit from our Local Authority Attendance Officer this week. We know that most of you work very hard to ensure that your children come to school regularly and on time and ready to learn. However, we are still getting a few families who are persistently late. Our officer will be concentrating on these in the spring term so please be advised to get your children here on time before the black gate closes.
Your children have enjoyed a wonderfully active week! Firstly, almost all children performed a dance as part of a routine organised by MHD. The dance moves mimicked the feelings associated with mental health and wellbeing. Children have been encouraged to talk about their worries and to share their feelings with trusted adults. Izzy and Harry were interviewed as part of the programme; their thoughts were sensitively articulated. The film crew hopes to get the film edited and ready for the television before Christmas. We will keep you updated.
Mrs Taylor took some children from Oak class to a tag rugby session at Hertford Rugby Club. She applauded their enthusiasm and excellent behaviour. We are so proud of our polite participants.
We have been talking with our PCSO about parking problems outside school. Please do your best to park sensibly, not on the pavements where the children are walking, nor in front of our neighbours’ driveways. Three point turns in the road are too dangerous and parking in the school car park is not allowed unless you have mobility issues. If this is the case, please pop in to school to get a permit from Trudy.
The PTA organisers have been busy preparing for the festive fun season. Please look out for their newsletters, texts and requests for support. Things are unlikely to happen unless you contribute- every little helps!
Finally, can I draw your attention to the Raising Confident Kids workshop; this is part of our mental health and wellbeing programme, which is designed to help you to help your children. Please support and come along on Tuesday 4 December at 7pm. Please let Trudy know if you are coming so that we can provide enough refreshments.
9th November 2018
I hope that you and your family enjoyed a restful half term. We are now heading into an exciting glue and glitter season with plenty of wonderful celebrations ahead of us.
This week has been a lovely week; Willow class enjoyed a brilliant Warburton’s workshop yesterday, learning about healthy meals and the process of bread making. Children in Apples and Pears have been creating algorithms about sandwich making in their computing lessons. The week has been full of sports activities and dance moves. Filming of the ‘dance’ takes place next Tuesday, so please get your permission slips in to us as soon as possible.
26th October 2018
Thank you for your support over this very busy and very long half term. We are all ready for a break! Thank you to so many of you who turned up to see our pirates on parade. I particularly enjoyed the dancing in those fabulous costumes.
This week, we enjoyed eating cake on our Macmillan charity coffee morning, raising £131.79. We sold lots of books during our parents’ evening and raised £63.05 for Save the Children, and Paola said many, many thanks for the wonderfully creative poppies that you should soon see displayed locally. Thank you so much for all these contributions. The Poppy Appeal continues after half term, when various stationery items and poppies will available to buy in school.
Sadly, we said farewell to Sharon Gale this week. Sharon is taking time to be with her family and explore more creative art projects. She has promised that she will come back and visit us and help us out when we need some artistic inspiration! We are very grateful to Lynn Hardy, who has agreed to carry on with the art clubs.
Finally, please enjoy a lovely half term, whether you are relaxing or getting active. We look forward to an exciting half term full of the joys of the festive season. Please make your very best efforts to get your children to school on time and ready for learning.
19th October 2018
This term teachers have been focusing on making our curriculum exciting, creative and relevant for our children. They have managed this whilst maintaining high standards of achievement and behaviour. Curriculum topics have ranged from dance and drama to healthy eating and pirates! When asking the children about their learning, one child said to me. 'We have learnt how to be safe and happy!' What more can I say! It’s not only about knowledge but how we acquire it.
We are looking forward to sharing your children's progress with you next week at the Parents’ Consultation evenings and we hope that together we can continue to help your children to be safe and happy.
12th October 2018
Well, it sounds as though Oak class enjoyed a lovely week at the seaside, so many wonderful and exciting activities, I was almost jealous!
If you haven’t signed up for consultation evenings, the sign-up sheets are still available in the school office. On Thursday 25th October between 4.00 and 5.00pm our Inclusion Coordinator, Miss Calder is available to discuss any concerns that you may have. Please phone Trudy to book an appointment with Miss Calder if required.
During our parents’ evening we will also be having a book sale; there will be a selection of good quality books for children and adults. (50p-£2) Proceeds will go towards our charity, ‘Save the Children’, so please bring along your hard earned cash! Reminder: for those of you, who have registered, please bring in your ‘old techy stuff’ on Monday for collection. Have a lovely weekend.
5th October 2018
What a busy week it’s been again!
It started with a lovely Harvest Festival service in Church and continued to give us much to be thankful for.
Apples and Pears had a great time at the Agility Games, organised by Hertford & Ware Small Schools Partnership.
Archdeacon Janet visited us on Wednesday; she was very complimentary about our school and our delightful children.
We have enjoyed lots of outdoor activities thanks to the beautiful sunny weather in the latter part of the week.
I am so proud of our Netball Team! They have demonstrated all of the 6 Rs this week – just look at the smiles on their faces!
It will be quiet next week with Oak class away at PGL – let’s hope the weather stays lovely for them.
28th September 2018
The children have enjoyed an exciting week at school beginning with the sunny BRUNFAST on Tuesday morning. Thank you to the many of you who turned up for breakfast, stayed to vote in our PTA reps and supported the children by running around the field with them! Some of you ran around many times to accompany your 3 children - how impressive! Huge thanks to our PTA for organising the event. Please send in you sponsor forms and donations as soon as you can. Thank you!
On Tuesday evening a number of parents claimed their free gifts at our Beyond the Curriculum evening. As a result of this support, we will be putting on another event aimed at ‘Raising Confident Kids’ in the future. Details will follow the next few weeks.
On Wednesday, Elaine Batten from the Broxbourne Foodbank talked to the children about the value of their Harvest contributions for local families in crisis. She introduced a competition called ‘£ on a plate’- the information for this was tweeted earlier in the week.
What a beautiful sunny week it has been; enjoy the last of the summer warmth, the fresh air and an active weekend. I look forward to seeing you all at our Harvest service on Monday morning.
21st September 2018
Thank you to everyone who has signed up for our ‘Beyond the Curriculum’ evening; we are looking forward to giving you your free gifts. I hope that you will not be disappointed!
We are also looking forward to Brunfast on Tuesday morning. We will be hoping to raise funds that will go towards an all-weather surface. We welcome any fundraising ideas from you so please come along on Tuesday morning to volunteer your ideas.
Yesterday, Trudy sent an email to you regarding poppy-making. We would like to create a nice display in school to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War 1. If you have any red material that you could donate for our display, please would you bring it in to the school office. We hope that you enjoy making the poppies too.
14th September 2018
Thank you to those of you who managed to attend our Meet the Teacher events this week. We hope that you found them useful. Copies of the Looking at Learning leaflets are available on the school website and in the front entrance.
I am really disappointed to have received requests from parents asking for term time holidays. Both the School and the Local Authority take the view that taking children on holiday during term time can be damaging to a child’s educational progress for two reasons. Firstly, children find it very difficult to catch up on the learning that they have missed, which is often in three week blocks so missing one week is equivalent to missing three weeks. In the longer term this can have a negative impact on their progress. Secondly and as importantly, children can be given a very unhelpful message about the value and importance of going to school.
I will not authorise any term time holidays unless the reason is truly exceptional. The cost of a holiday is NOT an exceptional circumstance. There are 12 weeks holiday in a school year; by taking holidays during the designated holiday periods, you will be supporting your child’s full school attendance, learning and development. I do hope that you will support your child in this matter.
We were sorry to get a complaint from one of our local residents this week- and it’s only the second week back! Last term so many of you chose to walk from the village hall and the Two Brewers; this relieved much of the congestion outside school and made crossing the road safer. We urge you to continue with the good practice that you started so well last term. If you cannot walk and need to park directly opposite the school, please do not obstruct the driveways and please do not park near the driveways so that vision of the road for residents is impaired.
7th September 2018
Welcome back! I hope that you all enjoyed a sunny, summer break. Your children have returned looking very ‘Northaw’ smart! Thank you.
We have two new members of staff to introduce to you: Mrs. Hayley Hood, our new Business Manager, will be working here on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It would be really helpful if you could pay any outstanding bills so that Hayley has a fresh start.
We also have a new Inclusion Coordinator, Miss Lauren Calder, who will be working with us every Tuesday. She will be working closely with my staff and me to support our children with additional needs.
Meet the Teacher events take place next week. These are opportunities to find out about class organisation and teacher expectations. ‘Looking at Learning’ leaflets, which itemise the class curriculum for this term, will be available for you to take away and share with you children.
Advance notice: on Tuesday 25th September at 7.00pm we will be holding a special event for parents and carers called, ‘Beyond the Curriculum’. More details will follow next week.
I look forward to seeing you all in church on Monday morning, apart from Acorns children. Reverend Kilgour will be delivering worship based on Giving thanks to God. You are welcome to stay and worship with us.